KAOTIC DRUMLINE: DRUMMING WITH A DIFFERENCE, 12min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Aaron Steinberg
Winner of BEST DIRECTION at the September 2021 MUSIC Film Festival.
AUDIENCE #1 (25s): Chaotic Drumline as both a documentary and just hearing the music – It was really, really interesting to hear the music you played and kind
of hear a backstory of how the different drums worked and the sounds that
they made, the skills required to perform it well, and to
compete in it and getting an inside look at the level of a drumline
player. And it was also really interesting how they tied it into the
impact it was having on you and Chicago and I thought that was just
really great and inspiring. And it flowed beautifully in the documentary, insightful.
AUDIENCE #2 (1m 1s): Documentary, looking into the world of drum line.
We’ve seen various movies about it, but we never really get to
understand how everything works. My favorite bit was when they did the
drum formation and everything. And like all the instruments came
together to look like a drum set. That was really, really cool. And then
even towards the end, when the guy was just explaining how it
actually works and what starts and everything that worked so well, and it
was really interesting how you tried to incorporate the fact that what
they do brings in people who live on the streets or on, in a, in a safe
However, not all of them are able to stay the course of this because of
the discipline and the mindset that you have to have for it. So, yeah,
that was really interesting. I think it would have been good to see a
bit more focus into maybe Zach or somebody who had come into the group
and then had to leave rather than sort during the whole broad stroke of
AUDIENCE #3 (2m 9s): It reminded me of that movie, that Nick cannon movie
Drumline, after like drum battles, how he is talking about like the
stakes and how intense it could be. I was like, I know that I know about
that. I’ve seen Drumline. It gets real out here for real and like the HBCUs
and like that whole like Florida, ADA, we down here in Texas, we got PV
and all of this stuff, HBC use, we holdin it down. So I really liked, I
really liked the subject. They always say that strength of a documentary
is a subject matter. And like, this was one of the most interesting
documentaries I’ve seen in a while.
And I liked him. I liked the message of the, of the drummers, like how
they was like saying like they do it for the kids, like keep them out of
gangs and off the streets and all of this stuff, like doing something
positive with their time. So I really rocking with that. So it was overall really good, good job.
AUDIENCE #4 (2m 57s): What a wonderful movie, what a wonderful group, you
know, I loved learning about this. I mean, who doesn’t love a drum line?
You know, this was very, very cool. I love, you know, what they’re doing
their work community-based and they’re, they’re helping people. I mean,
the arts are a wonderful way to engage youth and, and to give people,
just give humans in general grounding, you know, and that they’re,
they’re out there doing this is just absolutely wonderful. And they’re,
they’re, you know, doing it through demonstrating their music, you know,
and which is just beautiful.
They’re wonderful musicians. I loved hearing their stories. I really
liked the part of this film, where they broke down the sections of the
drum line and had everybody play solo. It reminded me when I was a kid,
I went to a community orchestra concert and they, they were playing
music and they demonstrated each section of the orchestra and told you
who the brass were, who the wooden woodwinds were and all this. And I
remember that to this day, you know, I, you know, and I, I became a
musician in the wake of that.
And so seeing them do this specifically for percussion instruments is
awesome. Cause maybe not every kid thinks of drums first, you know, you
think about playing a piano or guitar or something first, but showing
drums as being something achievable as a viable option to youth and to,
to people everywhere. It’s a great, it’s a great mission that they’re on
here. So I absolutely loved this. It was done really well. I love the,
you know, the cinematography and the editing of it, you know, they’re on
the stage at the nice lighting.
It just looked great, you know, and everything about everybody,
everybody that’s involved here their philosophy. I love the, the one
young guy who says talking about being in competition. He’s like, if you
chop your sticks, that’s it, you’re done. You know, talking about the
intensity of at all. Very cool. But yeah, this is, this is a great, this
is a great mission this group is on, I loved learning about the group
and I loved seeing them perform. They were great. And it was also just a
nicely put together film.
So great job from the producers, the director, editors sound, people,
everybody involved did a great job. And I, I wish the cut, sorry. I wish
the Chaotic Drumline all the best. I hope that their mission continues.
AUDIENCE #5 (5m 20s): Think they showcase outstanding, talented people
with their distinctive different sounds for the various types of drums.
They offer some history behind the drum lines in showcasing the
participation in school bands. For example, on how this a specific band
has helped people keeping out of trouble.
I liked how you can see they enjoy playing and bringing peace to things
through music, the different testimonials, how they briefly show us
performance and yeah. How they present each instrument and their names
and the distinct different sounds. It was just very interesting and relevant.
AUDIENCE #6 (6m 18s): I thought it was beautiful to get to learn about the
culture. I especially liked learning about the, the competitions and the
battles and how you never really know what’s going to happen. And
there’s all these intimidation tactics that the other team can use and
you just have to stay prepared and stay ready. And then I also really
loved towards the end where they gave each of the artists kind of their
moment on stage to show off their skills. And they explained each of the
drums and what they do and what they sound like and, and comparing it to
sounds of nature.
I just thought it was so beautiful and so poetic. And I thought it was a
perfect way to kind of wrap up, wrap up this film about, you know, a
talent that really brings obviously so much joy and passion, but, but
also culture and lessons along with it. So I really enjoyed learning
AUDIENCE #7 (7m 15s): I knew nothing about a drum line or how it
functions. I don’t know anything about that. So I loved that I got to
learn so much. I love that. I got to learn their personal stories, how
this family really got started with the dad and then the son and now the
grandson. And it’s just, it’s just awesome. How they’ve all shared this
love of music. I love how they’ve really focused on the community in
Chicago that they live in and how they’ve helped kids steer away from
gangs with the, with the use of music.
I think that’s amazing. I loved the interviews. Every question that was
asked was clear and precise and, and guided the drumline members to
give great answers. So the interviews were done really well. And I also
loved how they broke down every instrument and what its place is in the
function of the drumline, you know, from the snare drum to the cymbals
and the bass to the tenor drums.
I really enjoyed that. And then I loved the ending with the DP, the
groove, you know, basically example of what one of their sets would look
like. All in all shot, beautifully in that theater, you know, clearly under COVID guidelines, but very cool to have an entire empty theater for
them together. And I really loved this, really enjoyed it. So
congratulations great job.
AUDIENCE #8 (8m 55s): So much fun for me. I went to school in Chicago,
specifically in the south side of Chicago and I studied the arts. So I
was very involved with like the art side of, of the south side of
Chicago. And, you know, you don’t often see a lot of black
representation from Chicago that doesn’t have anything to do with like,
you know, gun violence or like gang violence. And so this was honestly
such a refreshing sort of reprieve from the stories that we usually see.
And it’s so wonderful to see like this aspect of, of, of this community
that is so often overshadowed by the media with these sorts of
atrocities. And, you know, instead to be able to see like black bodies,
black kids, black musicians being joyful and, and, and celebrating this,
this experience, it was, it was absolutely wonderful for me. It was so
nice to know that when I go back to Chicago, that that’s a community
that I can support, that I can seek out, you know, this arts group.
And I can try to connect them to like other arts groups that I know,
because you know, like being black in Chicago is not one experience.
It’s not a single experience. And it’s not just about like, yes, gun
violence is real. And gang violence is real, and these are real genuine
things affecting the youth in Chicago today.
It’s true, but there’s so much that we don’t see, we don’t get to see
things like this. We don’t get to see, we don’t get to see young black
kids in their high schools or their middle schools as part of their
marching band. And like having a really good time on the drumline. This
was so refreshing. This was so refreshing. I loved this so much. I can’t
wait to go back to Chicago and support this group. This is, what’s so
amazing about this short film is you’re bringing awareness to, you know,
something that I otherwise even, you know, having lived in Chicago for a
long time and being involved with some like art communities, like I’ve
never heard of.
And it’s just so nice that I can now support this community. And I think
that using your voice and your platform to highlight something like
Chaotic Drumline is just wonderful. And the short film was really good.
Yeah. It, it, it was really good. I learned a lot and I enjoyed it and I
can’t wait to show it to, can we just show it to friends of mine who
still live in Chicago, who are a part of our communities who are part of
like engagement programs.
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